December 14, 2009

2nd HBin5 Bonus Bread

The second bonus bread for the Healthy Bread in 5 is a delicious Whole Grain Challah with Cranberries, Orange and Walnuts. I had leftover Cranberry Relish that I had frozen after Thanksgiving, so I used that in place of the orange zest, dried cranberries and nuts. It turned out great! I made half the recipe again - after all there are just two of us! Based on reviews from other HBin5 "Braiders" I added an extra teaspoon of Vital Wheat Gluten and used White Whole Wheat Flour. While I didn't get much of a rise in the oven, the texture and taste are wonderful. I'm wondering if the lower oven temp has something to do with the lack of "spring." You'll have to head over to Michelle's blog for the recipe - she's our fantastic leader.

Using half the recipe, I was able make two braids and one crown. Here they are before rising.

Look at that crumb, baby!! Moist and delicious.

November 23, 2009

Our Traditional Thanksgiving Bread

Our younger daughter LOVES the bread at Outback Steakhouse. I found this copycat recipe years ago and have been making it ever since. There are several versions on the web. This one doesn't have any food coloring, cocoa or coffee used to replicate the deep brown color of the restaurant bread - which is why I like it!

"Outback" Bread
yields 2 large or 4 small loaves

3 pkgs yeast
1T sugar
1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees - I just use hot water from the tap. It should feel just on the edge of "ouch")
1/2 cup molasses
1T kosher salt (or use regular)
2 T canola or light olive oil
2 cups rye flour
~ 3 1/2 c all-purpose flour

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of warm water, yeast and sugar. Let sit until bubbly.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl (I use my Kitchen Aid Stand mixer) combine 1 cup warm water with the molasses, salt, oil and rye flour and yeast mixture. Beat to a smooth batter. Then add 2-1/2 cups of the all purpose flour. At this point, switch to the dough hook if using a stand mixer. Continue to add all purpose flour until a ball forms and cleans the side of the bowl. It should be very pliable and moise, but not wet. Form into a ball and put in a greased large bowl to rise for ~1 hour until doubled.

Gently punch down dough and form into 2 large or 4 small loaves. Place on a baking sheet dusted with cornmeal. Let rise to double again, a little less than an hour. Preheat oven to 375.

Bake for 30 minutes. Start checking small loaves at 25 minutes. Upon removing from oven, brush with melted butter. Let cool on racks. Freezes very well.

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November 12, 2009

Let's Try This Again....................

I can't believe it's been over a year since my last entry. I recently joined another bake-along group. We are going to be making the breads from the new book Healthy Bread in 5 Mintues a Day. We don't officially start until January, but were offered the option of making the Pumpkin Pie Brioche (it is that time of year after all!) I really enjoyed making this bread - I made a few modifications: I used an egg substitute, extra light olive oil and agave syrup. I also added cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg to the sugar I sprinkled on top of the loaves. Very tasty - the flavors definitely become more pronounced a few days after baking - if it lasts that long! I made a 1/2 recipe, which you can see yielded 2 medium boules and a mini boule. If you want the recipe, you'll need to head over to Michelle's site - she's our leader. And even if you don't want the recipe, you should visit anyway - it's a great blog.

Oh - and to try and keep myself from gaining EVEN more weight, I ran my very first 5K this morning!! Nine weeks ago, I had not run in over 20 years. I started the Couch to 5K running program. AWESOME!! This program, over the course of 9 weeks, takes you from sitting on your couch to running 30 minutes. Now, for some people (me not being one of them ;p) 30 minutes is the amount of time to run that distance. Today, for the first time ever, I ran 5K (a little longer than 3 miles!) Thanks C25K!!!